Scottsdale Area Hiking, Biking & Trail Guide - 10

DESERT CRITTERS
Pause for a moment and you're likely to hear it - the scurrying of quail, the chatter of a
cactus wren or, at sunrise or sunset, the howl of a coyote. The Sonoran Desert is home to
hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including these common critters.

10

Coyotes are best known
for their mournful howl,
the signature sound of the
Southwest .

Feisty Cactus Wrens are
strikingly spotted and
typically nest in saguaros,
chollas and palo verde trees .

Staying true to its name,
the Roadrunner can reach
ground speeds of up to
15 miles per hour .

Harris Hawks can be
identified by their dark brown
bodies and long black-andwhite tail feathers .

Gambel's Quail are
gregarious birds that spend
most of their time scurrying
along the ground in search
of food .

Arizona Blond Tarantulas
are hairy-looking spiders that
measure between three and
four inches in length .

Resembling small wild boars,
Javelina can weigh up to 55
pounds and live in groups of
2 to 20 animals .

Measuring nearly two feet
tall, Great Horned Owls
have white throats, striped
undersides and prominent
ear tufts .

Desert Tortoises are gentle
creatures that can live for up
to 40 years and measure up
to 14 inches in length .

Scorpions fluoresce under
ultraviolet light, so a black
light is a must for nocturnal
hunting (don't touch these
venomous insects) .

Jackrabbits are known for
their huge ears, long hind
legs and large feet .

Venomous Rattlesnakes often
hide under shrubs, rocks and
other desert debris . They're
known for the warning buzz
of their tail rattle .

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Scottsdale Area Hiking, Biking & Trail Guide

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